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China sees more corruption in poverty relief fund use

(Xinhua) Updated: 2016-06-23 17:14

BEIJING - A growing number of officials have been implicated in the misuse or embezzlement of poverty relief funds following a sweeping crackdown on duty crimes across China.

Prosecutors investigated 658 officials responsible for poverty alleviation in the first five months of the year, an increase of 53.7 percent year on year, Wang Songmiao, spokesperson of the Supreme People's Procuratorate (SPP) said at a press conference Thursday.

China launched a five-year campaign to crack down on corruption by officials engaged in poverty relief work, which kicked off at the beginning of 2016.

Meanwhile, 4,775 officials in charge of agriculture or rural areas were investigated for alleged duty crimes in the first five months, with 2,640 involved in abuse of finances, Wang said.

Investigations by the SPP revealed that local-level officials were most likely to be involved in bribery, embezzlement, speculation and dereliction of duty.

China aims to lift 70 million poor people in rural areas out of poverty and build "a moderately prosperous society" by 2020, and has boosted funding for relocation, ecological protection, electric power infrastructure and renovation programs in rural areas.

The SPP will tighten supervision and set up an information sharing system to ensure all funds are used effectively and transparently, Wang said, adding that an education campaign will be launched for local officials to increase their legal awareness.

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